Museum Accessibility and Access Programs

Crystal Bridges is committed to making the museum accessible for all visitors. Please note that our efforts to make our website, programs, and museum more accessible are ongoing. If you encounter any accessibility concerns , please contact us here.

A boy with a joyful expression on his face has an adaptive floor painting tool attached to his electronic wheelchair. His father stands behind the boy’s wheelchair on the far right side of the image, and a man that is pouring red paint into the floor painting tool stands on the left side of the image.

Museum Accommodations

Crystal Bridges offers a number of on-site accommodations for guests with disabilities in order to assure an enjoyable and engaging experience at the museum. Below is a list of amenities available. If you have questions, please contact us here.

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    Mobility

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    All interior spaces of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art—including galleries, classrooms, meeting rooms, restaurant, Museum Store, library, and lobby—are fully wheelchair accessible. The parking garage offers accessible parking on the lower level.

    Wheelchair and family-accessible restrooms and elevators are located throughout the museum.

    Wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis at no cost and are located at Guest Services in the main lobby and in the elevator towers. Personal wheelchairs, canes with rubber tips, and motorized mobility devices are also permitted in the museum.

    The Orchard Trail, Art Trail and North Forest Trail are all hard-surface trails.

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    Service Animals

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    Service animals are welcome in the museum. Other leashed pets must remain outside the building, which includes Walker Landing, but are welcome on museum trails and grounds.

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    Lighting

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    Because Crystal Bridges has many large windows that admit daylight, the light levels in the museum can vary considerably between galleries and connecting reflection spaces. Guests with light sensitivity may choose to visit on cloudy days or in the evening when these contrasts are not so pronounced.

    When there are exhibitions featuring artworks with flashing lights, signage notifying visitors of where these lights are located will be available. Additionally,Buckyball by Leo Villareal is a sculpture located on the drive into the museum with lights that change colors in the evening.

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    Assistive Listening Devices

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    Assistive Listening Devices are available on a first-come, first-served basis for those participating in lectures or other events in the Great Hall. For all other programs or tours, they are available by request.

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    Sign Language Interpretation

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    American Sign Language interpretation is provided for all Distinguished Speaker programs and for Collection Highlights tours on the third Saturday of each month from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. For preferred seating for ASL users at our Distinguished Speaker programs, please contact us here. Relay or voice calls are welcome.

    American Sign Language interpretation for all other programs and tours is offered upon request with advanced notice based on availability. Please contact here.

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    Access for Guests who are Blind or have Low Vision

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    Free audio tours, which include audio label text for selected artworks from the museum’s permanent collection, are available for download on Android or Apple devices. Devices pre-loaded with the audio tours, to use during your visit to the museum, are available for check-out from Guest Services at no cost.

    Free tactile and multisensory tours of the museum are offered upon request with advanced notice based on availability. To schedule a tour, please contact us here.

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    Digital Resources

A young adult from the LifeStyles program wears a black apron as he uses a paintbrush to add a yellow background to his colorful self-portrait.

Access Programs

Crystal Bridges works with a number of organizations to develop programs for individuals with disabilities. Below is a brief listing of our current offerings. If you have questions about any of our Access Programs, or would like to make a suggestion, please contact us here.

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    For Families

    Family Access Night is a fun opportunity for families impacted by disability to visit the museum. Youth with disabilities, siblings, and parents participate in engaging activities including gallery tours, studio art activities, and performances. The event is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

    Play with Passion is a program organized through the Bentonville Schools. Once a month, the program visits a different site to promote activities for youth with disabilities. Crystal Bridges partners with Play with Passion to offer fun outdoor art and activity stations inspired by nature.

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    For Adults

    Life Styles is a non-profit organization that provides supported employment, living, and educational opportunities for adults with disabilities. Once a month, Crystal Bridges collaborates with Launch—a Life Styles program designed as a college-equivalent program for young adults with disabilities. Launch students visit the museum with their Effective Communications class for a facilitated discussion in the galleries and an artmaking session in the studio. To learn more about participant experiences with Life Styles, click here.

    I love everything I learned here because I love learning about the art history and the artists and it inspires me every day to learn about art. It inspires me to do art. I do a lot of artwork and I love art. Maybe one day my art will be in Crystal Bridges.

    Life Styles participant

    Open Avenues is a work center for adults with disabilities. Museum Educators visit the center once a month for hands-on art activities. The program provides an opportunity for Open Avenues’ clients to creatively express themselves during the work day and to learn about the museum’s collection, programs, and exhibitions.

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    For Youth with Autism

    The Autism Programming Advisory Group includes experts in the field of autism spectrum disorders—including academics, therapists, and parents— who meet with the museum and area arts organizations to create programming for youth with autism and their families. Participants include parents and representatives from the University of Arkansas, Thrive Autism Solutions, Northwest Arkansas Center for Autism, Trike Theater, Walton Arts Center, and Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

    Camp Connect at Crystal Bridges is a summer day-camp for children with autism and peer mentors, presented in collaboration with Project Connect at the University of Arkansas. The camp features fun activities for children to engage with artwork in the museum while making connections with other children. The program is free, but advanced-registration is required.

    ArtShare is a program for families who have youth with autism. The museum opens early for this program, allowing families to explore the galleries in a quiet atmosphere, and all participants are invited to enjoy hands-on artmaking activities in the studios. The program is free, but pre-registration is encouraged.

    My daughter enjoyed herself [at ArtShare] tremendously, the happiness was evident on the faces of all the participants and their families, and I must admit each and every aspect was a wonderful joy for myself as well. I only wish it could have lasted a little longer

    ArtShare participant

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    For Individuals with Alzheimer’s or Dementia

    Creative Connections is a program for individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer’s or dementia and their care partners. Museum Educators facilitate interactive discussions of artworks in the galleries and lead hands-on art activities in the studio. No prior art experience required. Refreshments and art materials are provided. The program is presented in collaboration with the Alzheimer’s Association and Schmieding Center for Senior Health and Education. The program is free, but registration is required. Contact the Alzheimer’s Association at 479.273.5559 or register here. To learn more about participant experiences with Creative Connections, click here.

    Had it not been for Creative Connections, we probably still wouldn’t be in a support group. We avoided support groups for three years, thinking we were not ready. Creative Connections sounded more like fun and fellowship. It was that and more. Participating in Creative Connections has certainly proven to be one of our best decisions. I cannot say either of us is a better artist, but we know that our new network of friends has our back.

    Creative Connections participants

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    For Individuals who are Blind or have Low Vision

    Free tactile and multisensory tours of the museum are offered upon request with advanced notice based on availability. To schedule a tour, please contact us here.

    The museum collaborates with Arkansas Council of the Blind to develop tactile and multisensory programs during their annual conference.

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    Professional Development Workshops

    Crystal Bridges collaborates with the Arkansas Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (ARID) to offer professional development for American Sign Language interpreters that includes gallery experiences to build art and architecture terminology and practice signing.

    In collaboration with NWA Premier Counseling, the museum offers professional development workshops for mental health counselors and therapists to learn about art therapy and the expressive arts, and strategies for using the arts to spark creativity in clinical practice.

All access and inclusive programs are sponsored by Loreen Arbus.